THE IMPACT OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP TRAINING ON IMPROVING TEACHER BEHAVIOURS AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

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THE ROLE OF BELIEFS AND BEHAVIOUR IN CREATING AN INCLUSIVE SCHOOL CULTURE

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The introduction of free primary education in Malawi has led to a rapid rise in student enrollment, in line with trends in other Sub-Saharan African countries. However, educational quality and performance have lagged behind with schools facing poor distribution of teachers, large class sizes, and high rates of repetition and dropout in lower grades. This project aims to find a solution to these challenges by first understanding the role of beliefs and behaviours in shaping school culture through lab-in-the-field experiments. These insights will then feed into a school leadership training with a focus on motivating inclusive behaviours among teachers to better student performance.

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BACKGROUND

Malawi's primary schools struggle to provide students with quality education. Enrolment in primary schools rose rapidly after the introduction of free primary education in 1994, attaining universal primary enrolment by the early 2000s. In 1994 only 1.6 million of Malawi's children were enrolled in primary school, but by 2016 it had reached 4.8 million. However, the education system has failed to keep pace with increased enrolments, resulting in overcrowded classrooms. Under-staffed schools have led to high dropout and repetition rates, with Malawi finishing near the bottomin regional assessments of English, Mathematics and Science competencies for Standard 6. Thisproject aims to look at ways that these challenges, which arenotunique to Malawi,can be addressed by: 1)examining the impact of school leadership training onpractices andbehaviours in schools and learning outcomes in a low-income context, and 2) toidentify theimpactofdevelopment of inclusive school cultures in achieving improved outcomes of students, particularly girls, over-aged and children from very poor background. 

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THE STRATEGY

The research team will first understand the role of beliefs and behaviours of both teachers and students in shaping educational performance through lab-in-the-field experiments. These insights will then feed into the design of cutting-edgeexperimental interventions based on the growth mindset, self-efficacy, and inclusive school cultures. These activities will beembedded within theSchool Leadership Training programme currently under implementation across Malawi through the Malawi Education Sector Improvement Project (MESIP), a set of educational investments and reforms financed by the Global Partnership for Education and Royal Norwegian Embassy.

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TIMELINE

January 2019-December 2019

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RESEARCH TEAM

Donna Harris (CSAE, University of Oxford)

Paul Collier (Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford)

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